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Costa Coffee sales and demand for Premier Inn rooms a welcome boost for Whitbread

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Whitbread described the hotel market as buoyant after seeing its Premier Inn chain deliver another set of impressive sales figures.

Premier's like-for-like sales jumped 9.2pc in the 11 weeks to August 14, helped by the improving economy as well as special events such as Farnborough Air Show and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Whitbread's coffee shop chain Costa also reported a strong summer as sales rose by 7.3pc on a same-store basis. Across the group, which includes the restaurants Beefeater and Brewers Fayre, underlying sales were 6.8pc higher.

The group said Premier's growth was particularly strong in the UK regions, with revenues per available room up 10.1pc in the February to August period and occupancy at 82.9pc - a rise of four percentage points on a year earlier.

Across the estate, which features more than 57,000 rooms, total occupancy was at an all-time high of 87pc in the most recent 11 week period.

Whitbread plans to open 4,500 new Premier Inn rooms and five joint site restaurants along with the addition of 300 Costa stores this year.

Costa total sales grew by 17.8pc, aided by weak comparatives from last year's warmer than average July.

PA Media